GoDaddy.com: Our Review

Even if you don’t know a Web server from a wombat, chances are you’ve heard of GoDaddy.com, the flamboyant hosting titan with the outrageous Super Bowl commercials and embattled public persona.

Perhaps best known as a domain registrar and sponsor for professional racecar driver Danica Patrick, GoDaddy.com has expanded its offerings to become something of a “one stop shop” for hosting and related services.

Features

In addition to the standard three tiers offered by most hosts—shared, VPS, and dedicated—GoDaddy.com also offers packages under the name “Website Builder.” These hosting plans are comparable in price to most shared hosting plans, but sacrifice features and flexibility in the name of simplicity. Website Builder plans have limited pages and very modest storage and bandwidth options.

Website Builder Features

  • Template-based sites with no programming
  • Five, ten or Unlimited* pages per site
  • Free domain with purchase of a year’s hosting
  • Stock photo gallery with access to up to 28,000 photos
  • One, five hundred or 1,000 email addresses
  • Up to 50 GB of disk space
  • Up to 1 TB of monthly data transfer
  • Free Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate (“Business Plus” plan only)

*As with shared hosting, “unlimited” in this context is subject to the physical limitations of the storage space provided with the plan.

The limited features, power and bandwidth offered by these plans make shared hosting a better option for all but the simplest of websites.

GoDaddy.com offers no money-back guarantee of any kind for this tier or any others.

Shared Hosting Features

  • Free domain with purchase of a year’s hosting
  • Choice of Windows- or Linux-based servers
  • 100 GB (“Economy” plan) or Unlimited* (“Deluxe” and “Ultimate” plans) drive space
  • Unlimited* data transfer/bandwidth
  • Unlimited* websites on one account**
  • 99.9% uptime guarantee
  • Support for 100/500/Unlimited* email addresses.
  • Free 24/7 customer support via Web/phone/email/Twitter
  • Support for 10/25/Unlimited* databases
  • Free site certificate (“Ultimate” plan only)
  • Mobile optimization (“Deluxe” and “Ultimate” plans only)

*As a rule, “unlimited” in the context of shared hosting generally denotes “limitless until you negatively impact server performance, at which point you may be billed or transferred to a more costly service tier.”

**The “Economy” plan includes support for a single site per account.

In addition to its set of shared hosting plans, GoDaddy.com also offers plans specifically for WordPress sites at this level. They are slightly higher in price than the shared hosting plans (while sharing the same options), but come equipped with extra features designed to smooth the WordPress setup process.

WordPress Hosting Features

  • The same standard features as shared hosting plans
  • Hosting Concierge service for turnkey site setup (good for 30 days after purchase)
  • Free daily backups
  • Access to Template Monster WordPress templates
  • Google® Webmaster tools

Pricing for shared and WordPress plans is very competitive with other providers.

In lieu of cPanel, user account management for shared and WordPress hosting plans is accessed by logging into GoDaddy.com’s proprietary control panel from the front page of the website.

Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting Features

  • Your own virtual server, with:
    • The same standard features available in shared plans
    • A choice of Linux (CentOS or Fedora) or Windows operating system (OS)
    • Up to 8 GB of dedicated RAM
    • Up to 240 GB (Linux) or 120 GB (Windows) of storage space
    • Up to 8 TB of monthly traffic
  • Up to three dedicated IP addresses
  • File Transfer Protocol (FTP) access for your server
  • Free SSL certificate
  • Root access to your server
  • 24/7 Network Monitoring and Security
  • Bandwidth Overage Protection
    • Bandwidth Overage Protection automatically suspends your account until you purchase more bandwidth or your bandwidth resets for the next billing period to avoid overages

GoDaddy.com offers two levels of additional support for their VPS customers who need in-depth assistance with application installations, migrations or troubleshooting issues (additional fees apply). As with the shared plans, the VPS offerings are competitively priced.

GoDaddy’s Reseller plans, available for Linux servers only, are also on this tier. They feature the same options and pricing as the Linux servers in the general VPS plans, but add access to cPanel, WHM and WHMCS for managing your customer’s accounts and giving your customers their own account management tool.

Dedicated Hosting Features

GoDaddy.com’s dedicated hosting plans have the same feature set as their VPS offerings, but expand the available OS selection and, of course, add the power of a physical server.

  • Your own physical server, with:
    • Your choice of Linux (CentOS, Ubuntu, or Fedora) or Windows OS
    • Intel® processors ranging from i3 to i7, with up to four cores
    • Up to 16 GB of RAM
    • Up to 4 TB of storage space
    • Up to 20 TB of monthly traffic
    • Three free dedicated IP addresses
    • Total root access for your server
  • Free initial server setup

The company’s dedicated hosting plans are more than competitively priced (coming in at less than half of some other providers), but also feature far less processor power, bandwidth and storage space than their pricier brethren.

If you’re not the technical sort, GoDaddy.com also offers fully managed hosting plans at this level.

The prices here are more in line with pricier competitors, but you’ll be adding managed services like traffic management, application installation and premium support to the same moderately-powered hardware found in the dedicated plans, so be sure the plan you select will meet the demands of your site.

Benefits Breakdown

The Good

GoDaddy.com has been around since 1997, and registers, renews, or transfers one domain name every second of every single day.

If you’re on a budget or new to the Internet, GoDaddy.com gives you a range of easy and affordable ways to bring your business online.

The Not-So-Good

GoDaddy’s plans are attractively priced, but watch out for hidden costs that may crop up if you require any of the “advanced” support services that fall outside the company’s standard offering.

The lack of any kind of money-back guarantee may also be a deal breaker for those who expect a little extra security.

While it offers a comprehensive range of plans and services, this behemoth of bandwidth is focused primarily on attracting entry-level and other customers looking for hosting that emphasizes affordability and uptime over personalized service and robust, industry-standard tools.

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